I’m not much of a cook…I guess it requires a level of patience that I lack. But I love desserts, and it turns out that I’m actually a decent baker. My mother and I used to bake a lot when I was in school, everything from brownies to homemade ice-cream (using those old fashion machines that need a ton of ice and salt whilst churning). OK, so she did most of the work and I just licked the bowls and spoons at the end! 😀 But I guess after all her drilling, some of that stuff did stick in my mind after all. I just restarted baking recently and when I’m going through the steps, I’ll hear her voice telling me to do something thats not written in the recipe (“always sift the dry ingredients together” etc).
One of the first things I made this year, were these Cherry Puff Pastry Turnovers. I don’t know why I chose this because using pastry dough would probably be daunting for an amateur baker. There happened to be sheets of puff pastry in the freezer and we had just bought some fresh cherries at a great price so it seemed to make sense to use them somehow.
So with a little inspiration from Sally’s Addiction, I made my own version of these Cherry Pastry Turnovers:
Servings: 8 pieces
For the Filling:
500 grams of fresh or frozen cherries, stemmed and pitted
100 grams sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 .5 tbsp cornstarch
1.5 tbsp water
For the Crust:
8 sheets of frozen puff pastry (5″ x 5″)
2 tsp milk
1 tsp granulated sugar
– Take the puff pastry out of the freezer and defrost it by leaving them on the counter for an hour or in the fridge overnight(1).
– Make the filling first so that it has time to cool down. If you’re using fresh cherries, wash the cherries and drain any excess water before pitting(2). If using frozen ones, then defrost them over a kitchen paper towel so that excess liquid is removed before cooking otherwise you will end up with too much liquid.
– Place the cherries, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon juice in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cherries will release their own juices and continue to cook for approx. 5 minutes until they soften and sugar is fully dissolved. Stir occasionally to fully combine ingredients, ensuring not to mash the fruit in the process.
– Dissolve the cornstarch in the water in a separate container to avoid lumps, and then stir into the cherry mixture. Allow it to simmer until it reaches a syrupy consistency, keeping in mind that it will thicken as it cools. Set aside to cool(3).
– Once the cherry filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet (or line with parchment paper or tinfoil).
– Prepare the dough for filling. Sprinkle some flour over a clean surface so that pastry does not stick to it. One square dough piece will make one serving.
– Whisk together the egg and milk to make the eggwash. Spread over the inside edges of the sheet using a brush or a small spoon. Place approx 2-3 tbsp of the cherry mixture into the centre of the sheet. Then using your fingers, fold one corner onto the opposite corner to make a triangle. Seal it shut by crimping the edges with the back of a fork. Spread the egg wash on the top side of the pastry, and sprinkle with some sugar. Make sure to cut 2 slits in any design on the top with a sharp knife (to allow steam to release while baking).
– Once all the turnovers are completed place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that the pastry can stiffen slightly(4). Before removing from fridge, preheat oven to 375°F and then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
– These can be eaten cold but we all prefer them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
1) I used Indo-European’s pre-cut 5×5″ sheets which are really convenient, however you can use any brand/size and then trim the sheets as required.
2) If you don’t have a pitter like me, you can just cut the cherries in half and take out the pit. This doesn’t impact the flavor or texture of the filling at all.
3) To reduce prep time, pour the prepared cherry mixture into a separate bowl and place in fridge for 20-30 minutes to cool.
4) They can also be prepped a day in advance before baking.